Code4Good: The Social Impact Incubator

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Acknowledging a problem is the first step to solving it. When it comes to problems, we all know that society as a whole, has lot. From unemployment to corruption, there’s a long and serious list. However, with the right application of technology these problems could potentially be solved. This is what Code For Good Sri Lanka aims to facilitate.

What is Code For Good?

In case you’re lost, Code For Good Sri Lanka is an initiative by the Internews Network. Now, this isn’t another hackathon. No this is a series of events (meetups, hackathon, an incubation period and a demo day) where apps and other technological products that have a positive social impact will be born.

In short, it’s a social incubation program and it’s goals are:

  • Giving web and mobile developers and tech entrepreneurs an opportunity to create solutions that have a social impact.
  • Fostering (social) startups to form around products and services that result in social impact, and providing the necessary mentoring, acceleration and incubation
  • Promoting broad awareness of civil society organizations and government agencies about the role and potential of ICTs to help solve social challenges
  • Increasing interactions and building longer-term networks between the ICT community and civil society, progressive government agencies and entrepreneurs

How does it work?

It’s a long process actually, thankfully it’s not a complex one. The initiative’s first steps was take on the 27th of August. This was a meetup with civil society organizations and other groups working on social problems. The goal of this meetup was to invite these groups, to submit ideas or problems that could be solved with technology.

The next step will be taken on the 11th of September, by meeting up with tech community. This meetup would be about presenting the problems to the tech community and finalizing the teams. Once the teams have been finalized the Social Impact Hackathon begins!

Now the Social Impact Hackathon is what has everybody excited these days. The Hackathon will commence of the 18th of September with a launch dinner and a workshop by Facebook’s (the same Facebook you use to procrastinate) internet.org team. The goal of this workshop is to share how participants can create apps that consume almost insignificant amounts of data.

Once the workshop ends and participants have a nice dinner, the hacking begins! The hacking will happen through the weekend until 3pm on Sunday. When the hacking stops, it’s time for the participants to finalize presentations, because judging begins at 4pm to select the winners.

The winners of the hackathon will be part of the next step of the initiative. This would be the incubation process of the winning prototypes from September to October. Here the winning teams will be given access to mentors, advisors and other experts. These experts will provide coaching and help maximise the social impact and sustainability or incoming generating potential of the product.

Finally, it all comes to an end in October at the Demo Day. Here the teams that went through the incubation process will showcase their products to investors. This is where you will see how technology can make a difference.

So how do I take part?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a coder, a designers, an entrepreneur or a tech company. All you have to do is register for the upcoming meetup. If you’re going as part of a team, then have one of your team members register your team here. If you’re going as a lone wolf, here’s where you need to go. That’s all there is to it. If you’re interested but can’t take part, don’t worry. We’ll be following the initiative as it progresses.

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